Nulpunt.nu: democracy is leaked.

Last June, Metahaven and Jonas Staal launched, on the occasion of the exhibition “Curating Reality”, a new type of social network that works on the principle of wikileaks: public information must stay public. With Nulpunt, the name of the application, users can register to the platform and have access to a consultation service for documents that are produced in the frame of parliamentary activity. By selecting areas of interest in your profile, it will be possible to have access to the archives of files related to various topics such as public health, foreign affairs, economy balance, and so on, and comment on them with other users. These comments might eventually lead you to engage in an online conversation on the topics, so mimicking the very activity of the government members who created them. Leaking information from secretive and highly bureaucratic democratic governments of Western countries, is here seen as an activity that can potentially become a tool to empower the capability of citizens to access the decision making processes that rule their lives. A tool for a transparent government and an open way towards political self-organization. The demand for a democracy without secrets is a response to bureaucratic structures that are still dependent on a Cold-War conception of secrecy: law on public transparency are still influenced by an authoritarian pre-digital era bureaucracy.

 

The starting principle is an easy one: if the entirety of our lives can be shared and become content to be used, along to a primary commercial market, conversely by other users, how is it that the very information that could drastically optimize the bond between the State and its components, are still inaccessible and often immersed in a Kafkaesque spiral of inefficiency? In the years following the media phenomenon wikileaks represented, the way in which democracy machines work should be highly rethought and this web application that aggregates files of public interest, that are often kept away from public opinion, force us to take into account the existing discrepancy among the publicity of our lives in comparison to the secretiveness of our States.

Will this prototype, made for the Netherlands, give concrete help in breaking down the distance between the so-called political elite and its voters? Will the European political sphere be ready to embrace a new era of 'leaked democracy' where information is ours to be taken and ultimately shared?